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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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THE UPAGUFTA MONASTERY.                                            Ai^
fflonnd believed to have been a stupa from what -uld be followed ia othor
^se, Unless the object be to discover the relics, rt » •rdmanly a waste o
labour to cut deep into its centre ; for the images whach nnmmtod it rot
have fallen down outside its base, where they have been gradually bunod by
the crumbling away of the stupa over them and will be found at no «r«al depth
below the surface. But, in the case of a temple or monastery, tho moond w
itself the ruined building ; if Muhammadans were the destroy,™, it ww
generally utilized as the substructure of a mosque. The Upaguptoi monas-
tery it is true, is said to have comprised a stiipa also, but it would appear from
fte way in which it is mentioned to have been Comparatively a small one : it
may well have formed the raised centre of the KanMi Tila, into which I dug
and found nothing*
But whatever the purpose of the original buildings, it is clear that tho hill
was frequented as a religious site for upwards of a thousand yeara, 8om« of
the statues are unmistakeably Buddhist and about coeval with tlm in,stifcution
of Christianity; while others are as clearly Jain and one- of tlu\so is datxKl
SambatllBL Either the Jains succeeded the Buddhists in tho .samo way as
Protestants have taken the place of Catholics in our English t-athdralH ; or
the two rival sects may have existed together, like Greek and Latin C Jhriatiwis
in the holy places of Jerusalem.
Hwen Thsang describes the Upagupta monastery as lying feo tlir oast of
the town arid the Kankali Tila is a little to-the east of the k&tra, which wan
certainly the centre of the old Buddhist city, the local tradition to that offiHit
having been confirmed by the large number of antiquities recently found in itg
neighbourhood. The only difficulty in so considering it arises from tho fact
that Mathora has at all times been represented as standing on the bank <
the Jamuna", while the katra is nearly a mil© away from it* Popularly, this
objection is removed by an appeal to the appearance of the ground^ which Itftft
evidently been affected by fluvial action, and Jso by th« present habits of thd
river, which is persistent in endeavouring to desert its present channel in fnYoar
of one still more to the east The stream, it ia said, may ha,ve> BO worked Its
way between the natural Mils and artificial mounds that the templea, which
once stood on its east bank, &und themselves on the west, while those thai
were originally on the western verge of the rive** were eventually left fur in-
land. Kiis was the view taken by Tavernier more than Awo centuries ftgo,*
who was so far influenced by the popular tradition and the appeaimuoe of the
*T&e edition fram which I translate wa» grablisbed